"Is there a day of reckoning coming? Oh yes, there is. If we are lucky, we will all be sprouting daisies at that time. This would be a tough one to explain to our kids, grand kids, and so forth."
What can the United States government do right in this year of 2018? The same thing they have been able to do right the past few years - not much. In the era of when Americans elected the best of the best, it would now be the middle of September of 2017, and the final touches would be added to the GFY 2018 budget. It would be balanced, and the numbers and funding would all be in line.
Okay - back to reality. We elect people who cannot chew gum and walk at the same time. We elect people who cannot, nor will not, balance a budget. So here we sit. It is February 8th of 2018, and we do not have a GFY 2018 budget as yet. We do however, have a budget busting two year deal primed and ready to go. It will start to fix our past sins of what the sequester had done to our military. And that has been devastating. Then it will fund some amelioration for disaster areas. Plus, it will address (with funding) our newly discovered opioid crisis. It also contains some infrastructure money. It has everything in it except for one thing - enough money to pay for all this stuff.
Enter Rand Paul, our one true Libertarian in the Senate. "Hold the phone!", Senator Paul declares. How about some spending caps? Oh-oh. That turd in the punch bowl just showed up. Fiscal discipline. Oh yes - that is so yesterday!
The problem is, Senator Paul remembers what it was like to be in the minority. To sit on the sidelines and warn of the dangers of too much debt. It seems as if many of the folks on his side of the aisle have forgotten those days, as they all did it. Now the new manta is. "Don't worry about it! Our 4% GDP will eviscerate all this stupid debt!"
Even if this bill escapes the Senate, the Freedom Caucus in the House feels similar to Senator Paul. With our national debt being over $20T and headed to $21T, the cost of handling this debt is going to be a big problem. In the past years, with quantitative easing giving us almost free money, the cost of handling our debt has been somewhat painless. However those days are gone, and with the soaring economy, the interest rates are going to approach normal again. Then the cost of handling our debt will be enormous.
Tonight (EST), at 12:01, the government will once again shut down. This one might take a while, as the appetite to issue yet another CR is very tepid. And even if the government does not shut down, stand by for a growing debt of $22T. But who cares? Us Baby Boomers have proven to the Gen-X crowd as well as the Millennial kids, we don't give a rip. Let the good times roll!
Is there a day of reckoning coming? Oh yes - there will be. If we are lucky, we will all be sprouting daisies at that time. This would be a tough one to explain to our kids, grand kids, and so forth. We kicked the can down the road until there was no more road.